A Personal Story: Taking Charge of Your Health as a Woman

13 11 2008

Because so many of my clients are women, I wanted to share an experience that happened to me yesterday. On October 28, 2008, I had my annual mammogram, planning it so that it would coincide with my annual appointment with my gynocologist. The mammography clinic indicated that the results would be faxed to my doctor the following day.

I had my appointment on November 4, 2008. I asked the doctor specifically about my mammogram as I had micro calcification in a scan in 2007. She said it was sitting on her desk, she hadn’t looked at it but was sure it was fine. Being a trusting soul, I didn’t push her further.

Yesterday I received a letter from the mammography clinic indicating that my latest scan was abnormal. I was LIVID that the doctor hadn’t contacted me and had led me to believe all was well. I can’t get a re-scan until Wednesday of next week and, of course, I have some heavy duty worry about what the problem might be; I don’t know if it is the same problem that has worsened or a totally new problem. Of course my prayer is that it won’t be a big deal, but I wonder what would have happened if the mammography clinic had not sent me the letter…I could not depend on the doctor, obviously.

My reason for sharing this experience is to encourage you to ALWAYS ask questions about your health and NEVER just assume all is well. Be sure that you go to a really reputable mammography clinic, too. Thank God that they are more organized than the doctor!  I will be changing doctors as of today, but what really is amazing that the doctor’s office offered no apologies or explanations. You also can’t assume that a woman physician will be more attuned to your needs; this particular doctor was clueless and, scarier still, came highly recommended.

We all have had friends who have dealt with breast cancer. I will never just assume that any doctor has my best interest in mind ever again; I will ALWAYS ask questions and do a followup to be sure everything is okay. A good recommendation isn’t necessarily a guarantee; ask me, I know!